CoApp Design and Development Summit (Day –3)

Back in March, Open Source Community Software Developer Garrett Serack unveiled his plans to dominate the world. Okay, well maybe not that grandiose, but he started documenting and developing plans to improve the quality of open source software on Microsoft Windows. For example, have you tried compiling the dependency-rich PHP package using the VC9 compiler? Worse, have you tried installing the output? Or tried maintaining several versions simultaneously? If only we could just run coapp install PHP-5.0.x

Well, if all goes well, we will be able to soon.

Garrett was kind enough to invite me out to Seattle for the first official CoApp Design and Development Summit, thanks partly to my familiarity with the Microsoft Detours API. Rather than fly out for two days and fly back home I decided to trek out early Monday morning, hence the negative day value in the post title, and stay the entire week. I’ll be documenting my experience the entire week…

View from the Marriott Courtyard My morning (EST) started at 4am. I flew via AirTran, through the Atlanta dumpster, landing in Seattle – a trip that took about 12 hours in total. Upon landing, I made my way to the Courtyard Marriott, cleaned up, and took a picture through my room’s window. Not a great view, but not a bad one either. (I’m not particularly sensitive to what’s outside my window as I usually seal it off to create the required hermit-like development environment.)

Microsoft Bravern II building (11025)Garrett and I met up soon after – there’s no mistaking a large man with a cowboy hat – and walked next door to a towering Microsoft-owned building named Bravern II. Inside was a maze of not cubicles but glass enclosed offices, peppered with employees geeking out w/ Visual Studio and drawing smiley faces on their white-board walls. We found the conference room booked for the summit, bunkered down, and immediately started talking about some code I put together that, one day, shall cut down on the development of ‘detoured stubs’ and its usefulness in the CoApp vision, amongst other topics.

An interesting question came up in our talks -- How would one inject a 64-bit library into a 64-bit process using a 32-bit injector (or the converse)? I’m not sure I can disclose why this topic came up, but the relevant tidbit is that some Microsoft software claimed to support this scenario. What?! How the… Scratching our heads and ruling out bizarreness such as writing to physical memory, kernel drivers, and undocumented API usage, we settled on the fact you just can’t do it without having a middle man (64-bit stub). Turns out we were right, sanity restored.

(Having the opportunity to talk with peers at similar levels of technical competency is a wonderful experience.)

“Work” finished up around 5 or 6 PM, my clock still a little awry. To finish off the evening, I walked next door to rustic Italian Artisanal Table, taking advantage of their daily 50%-off happy hour discount. I had a Bruschetta starter, pizza Bianca main, Tiramisu dessert, and a tall glass of Peroni to wash it all down all for the low price of $20. Shockingly inexpensive; absolutely delicious.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, Day -2) I’ll meet up with some friends – Brandon LeBlanc, Paul Donnelly, and Cullen Dudas – and go crazy at the Microsoft Store. I’ll also be speaking to some Windows Logo folks regarding Geosense for Windows, exciting stuff there.